Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Review - Fall

Raccoon is 36 months
Here's a peek at our Tot School this week. It's been our first full week in awhile, so there are lots of pictures. Mostly the really long posts are for me because I know that when the baby comes in 15 weeks (end of January), everything will be different. I want to remember this time, as crazy as it is sometimes.
I was a little late putting our board together for this week, so we only did it twice. Raccoon's favorite part is the person, (George Washington Carver this week) and the nursery rhyme which we act out. The other things are a spooky maze, along with the verse and "I Can" page from Raising Rock Star Preschool Ii, and a song about George Washington Carver from Scholastic's Famous Americans.
These are magnets from a Melissa & Doug calendar, but Raccoon enjoys playing with them on the fridge.

I saw this idea for a masking tape painting and thought Raccoon would like it. The only crafts he's interested in right now are ones that involve something spooky.

I tried to take the tape off after the paint had dried, but it stuck to the construction paper too much, so I ended up leaving it on. I helped Raccoon with the face on his monster, the spider hanging from the ceiling, the black around the edges of the house, and the orange duck footprints on the left. He called the big black blob a "scary shadow."

This shadow matching activity is from this Fall Fun Learning Pack.

I saw the idea of matching with pipe cleaners here (about halfway through her post).

Raccoon is very interested in maps, and here we put together a museum map with exhibits, then Bugs Bunny took a tour with Raccoon as his silly guide.

This is my version of a noodle sensory bin (I got the idea here). I thought Raccoon would like sorting out the red noodles and then we could make another "bloody" pasta skeleton, but he decided that wanted to keep all of the colors together. The chopsticks ended up being too frustrating for him, but he liked scooping the noodles into the tin with the measuring cup.

I think Raccoon's favorite part was helping me to put the noodles into two jars when it was time to put them away.

Raccoon's Abuela let him play with her button collection, which he promptly declared was his "treasure" and insisted we put it into a "chest." He carried it around all afternoon and even fell asleep holding it tightly.  

Once his treasure was safely packed into the chest, he wanted to dress up in all his pirate gear.

And once the dressing up starts, Spiderman is sure to follow! He just got the mittens and Spidey hat from his Grama and he was excited to finally have the complete costume, right down to his Spiderman slippers.

Raccoon enjoyed putting leaves on this "tree," and we talked about what happens to leaves during the different seasons. We only have wet and dry season where we live, so it was a good opportunity for us to discuss the other four seasons found further north. I got the idea for the box with holes here, then I added leaves from the Fall Fun Learning Pack to go with our theme. (From here on, the pictures are all from my iPad; sorry for the low quality.)
After Raccoon put them in randomly, the leaves fell off the tree for fall, then in the spring they grew back. I asked him to pass me a certain size (small, medium or large) and I put them in order by height.
Right now, Raccon is definitely stronger in verbal ability than math, so I'm always on the lookout for hands-on number activities. I saw this block idea here, although I only did 1-5. After he put them in order, my fingers walked up the stairs and jumped off the tallest stack. He added the chip can because he wanted a bigger jump.
We did the classic baking soda and vinegar "volcano." Raccoon loved squirting the vinegar into the medicine cup and watching it fizz. He asked if it was soda, but tasted and smelled it to disprove his hypothesis. :)
Raccoon is going through a sorting phase right now, so we organized his play food into groups before he went shopping one morning. We did bread/carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables, meat/protein, dishes, and a desert section. He decided to start shopping in the desert section first.
Raccoon knows all the basic colors, so I made up an activity for him awhile ago with alternate color words from here (I thought the pdf came with word cards like pictured on the front, but it doesn't). My printer is having another off week so I colored them by hand. The matching part is deciding whether it is the left pair of words or the right.
I got the idea here for matching words to a verse, but we ended up just putting the cut-out verse together on his corkboard. The verse is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," from RRSP Ii.
Of course, once we got the corkboard out, we had to work on our skeleton and mummy monsters too.
As soon as I read about hammering golf tees into pumpkins, I knew Raccoon would be interested. We don't have pumpkins here or golf tees, so we used a watermelon and real nails instead. Raccoon has loved any kind of tool since he was about one, and he did all the hammering himself.

We called the nails "hair" and then I carved a face into the watermelon per his instructions.

At the end of the week, I saw him doing this on his table and he told me, "I'm making a game for you, Mama." I asked him, "How do we play?" He replied, "With water" (the napkins under the noodles are soaking wet).
It turned into more of a stack-the-fruit game (granadilla and pitahaya if you're wondering what those are). We also made the granadilla into an impromptu "pumpkin" with a noodle face. Afterwards I had to set the noodles in the sun to dry them out, but I like that Raccoon has fun playing with me enough to want to make up more games. Sometimes he gets out his school stuff and tells his stuffed animals that he has "surprises" for them. I love that he thinks learning is joyous and playful.


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